Category: Blog

Blog: Boundaries: A Case Study

Blog: Boundaries: A Case Study

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When people come into my office with relationship problems, they do not always realize they’re dealing with boundary issues. Many people think if they’re being treated badly in relationship, they must be doing something wrong. This is generally due to a lack of understanding about boundaries, and this lack of understanding usually stems from a place of unworthiness. The person being mistreated believes they’re flawed in some way, and makes compromises to stay in relationships where they are suffering. Boundary issues almost always arise when a person doesn’t feel lovable, and consequently, they’re willing to do almost anything to get another person’s approval. Because they don’t love themselves, they are dependent on others to be sources of love and validation.

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Buddhist Meditation in Depth Hypnosis

Buddhist Meditation in Depth Hypnosis

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Depth Hypnosis is a therapeutic process that blends elements of Shamanism, Buddhism, transpersonal psychology, hypnotherapy, and energy medicine. Buddhism is one of the main engines of Depth Hypnosis, and meditation is one of many tools we use to help clients alter their state of consciousness. Meditation enables clients to shift their focus from their “thinking minds” to their inner experience.

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Blog: Ask Isa: Manifesting Vs. Magical Thinking

Blog: Ask Isa: Manifesting Vs. Magical Thinking

Question: I believe in manifesting, but sometimes I worry that my thinking is “magical.” What’s the difference between manifesting what you want in life and magical thinking?

Isa: Manifestation is the process of moving into the unknown. To manifest properly, you have to be clear about what you want to manifest and why. Having a clear intention focuses your awareness, creating more possibilities for manifesting what you want.

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Blog: Listening to Grief

Blog: Listening to Grief

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Grief is an uncompromising teacher, but it can take you to depths within yourself and teach you things nothing else can. It is only when we sit down with grief and receive what it has to offer us that healing can begin.

One of the greatest teachings grief has to show us is that the world is not what we thought. This is important because we all have misconceptions about the nature of reality and about our agency in the world. It is common to become deluded about what is real and what is not real. Often people think they can avoid or control pain in an effort to generate a reality where it does not exist. In this way, delusion is the basis for suffering. It takes strong medicine to break through delusion, and grief offers this medicine by providing the opportunity to unravel our misconceptions about the nature of reality.

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Blog: Engaged Listening on the Path to Coming to Peace 

Blog: Engaged Listening on the Path to Coming to Peace 

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

There truly is a wellspring of peace within each of us. To reach it, we must look in the most surprising place: right in the heart of conflict. When we examine our conflicts with others, a light shines on all the places where we have moved away from this wellspring. Conflict— and the path we must embark on to resolve it— serves as a beacon guiding us back to our inner peacefulness. To get there, we must first learn to recognize the kind of “light” or awareness that our conflicts with others are offering us.

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Blog: Ask Isa: Finding Meaning in Divorce

Blog: Ask Isa: Finding Meaning in Divorce

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I just got divorced and it’s brought up a lot of shame for me. I feel like I failed in my marriage. How do I deal with the shame?

Isa: Whenever you have shame, you have blame. It sounds like there might be an internal conflict going on, where one part of you is blaming you and one part of you is receiving the messages of blame and feeling ashamed. I would recommend sitting down and exploring the part of yourself that is making you feel ashamed.

One way to do this is to think about all of the expectations you had going into the marriage. Consider the expectations you had of yourself, the expectations you had of the other person, and the expectations you had of the marriage itself and what you hoped it was going to do for you. For instance, if you got married because you wanted to feel validated by your family, ask yourself why you didn’t feel validated before you were married. You have to honestly examine your motivations for entering the marriage to discover what is behind these expectations. As you become clear about what your expectations were, you’re going to see how you respond when your expectations are not met.

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Blog: Encountering the Great Mother in the Birth Environment

Blog: Encountering the Great Mother in the Birth Environment

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

To understand the essence of the Great Mother, it is helpful to look to the earth. From the moment we are born until the moment we die, we are held in the earth’s embrace, and it has many valuable lessons to offer us about motherhood. The earth is abundant, nurturing, unyielding, and adapting. The Great Mother is the embodiment of these qualities, offering us tremendous teachings about the mutuality of experience in the natural world.

You can find the power of the Great Mother expressed in the many mother goddesses appearing in different cultures around the world — Pachamama in the Andes, Tara in the Himalayas, Quan Yin in China, Isis in ancient Egypt, and Hera, Thera and Athena in Greece and Rome. There is a widespread understanding among different cultures about the importance and necessity of being in alignment with the power of the Great Mother, not only to bring forth life but also to nurture life in a way that is beneficial for everyone.

Despite a lack of understanding about mothering and matriarchal priorities in the west, the power of the Great Mother is accessible to women in the modern time. By connecting with this power, women can sustain themselves no matter what is happening in their birth process. Women can use their connection with this power to receive guidance and to understand the deeper meaning of their experience.

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Blog: Ask Isa: Unexpected Pregnancy

Blog: Ask Isa: Unexpected Pregnancy

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I’m pregnant and I’m having a hard time connecting to my child. I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant and I’m not sure how I feel about it. What can I do to feel more connected to my child?

Isa: First of all, there isn’t anything wrong with you if you don’t feel connected to your child right away. This is a huge moment in your life, and you need to give yourself all the time and space you need for this pregnancy to fully register for you.

If you can’t connect with your child immediately, it’s likely because you need to take time to explore the ways you’re going to change as you become a mother. In order to connect with your child, you first have to connect with yourself. If you don’t put your own emotional and physical needs first, it will be more difficult to connect. Focusing on yourself in this way is not selfish, but will actually be beneficial for your child.

When preparing for motherhood, it is essential to reflect on what being a mother means to you and to consider how having a child is going to affect your everyday life. I recommend looking at your own definition of “mother” and examining the way you were mothered. If you have been well-mothered, reflect on what values you might emulate as a mother for your child. If you were not mothered well, there may be places within you that need healing.

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Blog: Mindful Leadership: An Interview with Hal Adler

Blog: Mindful Leadership: An Interview with Hal Adler

Hal Adler is a certified Depth Hypnosis Practitioner and Executive Coach. In this interview, Hal talks about his upcoming Mindful Leadership workshop at the Sacred Stream Center, and why mindfulness is an essential practice for anyone in a leadership position.

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Blog: Ask Isa: Can Depth Hypnosis Help Me with My Anxiety?

Blog: Ask Isa: Can Depth Hypnosis Help Me with My Anxiety?

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: Can Depth Hypnosis help me with my anxiety?

Isa: People often feel their anxiety controls their lives, but in reality, it always has something important to teach you. Depth Hypnosis can help you understand the roots of your anxiety, and when you know where your symptoms began, you can change your relationship to the original situation driving your anxiety.

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Blog: Coming to Peace: An Interview with Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Blog: Coming to Peace: An Interview with Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Q: What is the Coming to Peace process?

Isa: Coming to Peace is a conflict resolution process designed to address both external and internal conflict. In this process, each person is empowered to share the truth of the conflict from their perspective, and to create space for everyone involved to do the same. Everyone is encouraged to connect to internal resources of wisdom, to practice patience and tolerance, and to move toward harmony when confronted with vengeance, prejudice and hatred.

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Blog: How to Connect With Your Wise Self

Blog: How to Connect With Your Wise Self

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The “Wise Self” is the part of you that is always calm, peaceful, nonjudgmental, and compassionate. In Buddhism, this part of the self is called your “Buddha Nature.” It is a witness to all the experiences you have, and it cannot be broken or damaged. When you are connected to this part of yourself, you can rest in the present moment and be aware of what’s happening around you without feeling pulled in.

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Blog: Ask Isa: Can Depth Hypnosis Help Me Get Over My Breakup?

Blog: Ask Isa: Can Depth Hypnosis Help Me Get Over My Breakup?

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I broke up with my boyfriend a while ago, but the pain still feels overwhelming. I’m not moving on at all. Part of me wants to be back in a relationship and part of me is relieved it’s over. Can Depth Hypnosis help me get over my breakup and move on?

Isa: What you’re describing sounds like an internal split, where part of you wants to be in the relationship and part of you does not. The tension and lack of resolution between these two parts is probably what’s making it hard for you to move on. Journaling can be a very helpful tool for understanding these two conflicting parts of yourself. For example, you can list all the reasons you want to be in the relationship, and then list all the reasons you are relieved to be out of the relationship. As you do this, the position of each part will become clear.

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Blog: Ask Isa: How Do I Find My Purpose?

Blog: Ask Isa: How Do I Find My Purpose?

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I feel a lot of pressure to find my purpose. I’m starting to think I’m never going to find it. Everyone in my life seems to know what they’re good at and have things “figured out,” and deep down I’m wondering if I even have a purpose. How do I find my purpose?

Isa: The best way to figure out your purpose is to identify the activities and experiences that bring you happiness. Think of an activity you enjoy—drawing, making model planes, playing computer games, watching the sunset, baking cakes. It could be anything.

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Blog: Imagination and Illusion

Blog: Imagination and Illusion

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

One of the most common questions I get when teaching The Shamanic Journey workshop at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream is, “But is all this just my imagination?”

It’s understandable that people have confusion between illusion and imagination, because many people use their imagination to enter into the world of illusion. Imagination and illusion have become synonymous, but the truth is your imagination is simply what you can conceive of happening. Essentially, imagination is a pathway to all of the possible experiences your consciousness can have. Imagination provides structures that let us participate in different realities. It’s like a rope bridge across a ravine— it allows you to go to places you would not be able to go with your conscious mind.

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